Mayor’s Confusion Jeopardizes Opening of High School

After signing an Inter-local Services Agreement with Phillipsburg and the Phillipsburg Board of Education (PBOE) to serve as the lead agency in upgrading the entrance to the new high school; and, after authorizing the Township Engineer to prepare plans and receive bids, the mayor has pledged not to fund the project.

At the council meeting of February 3, 2016, he pledged:

“…the agenda includes a proposed bond ordinance for $850,000. No bond ordinance can be finally adopted without 2/3 affirmative vote of the governing body.  I know that I will not vote to incur this level of debt.  Only one other council member need join my point of view to prevent this proposed ordinance from passing.  As such, I am tabling its consideration pending further investigation as to necessity for such expenditure.”

The ordinance applies to temporary financing (less than one year) that will fund Lopatcong’s share of the project, which is approximately $167,000, and cover the remaining costs until we are reimbursed from Phillipsburg, the PBOE, and the NJDOT, which has awarded Lopatcong a $300,000 grant.  As you can see from the documentation below, this process started almost a year ago.  Any “further investigation” should have been done months ago!

Where does the Mayor expect the money to come from? Surplus? He spent that in last year’s budget.  Or will he just refuse to fund it, cause us to lose our grant money, and jeopardize the opening of the new high school?

Related Documentation:

Here is an excerpt of the minutes from 3/4/2015 authorizing the engineer: Minutes and Resolution Authorizing Engineer  and an excerpt of the minutes from 10/7/2015 authorizing the execution of the Agreement: Minutes Authorizing Agreement

Copy of signed Inter-local Agreement:

Inter-local Services Agreement

Links to full minutes:

March 4, 2015 – Authorizing Engineer

October 7, 2015 – Authorizing Execution of Inter-local Agreement by Mayor

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